A lot has changed around the topic of sustainability since Sphere One founder Lucy Downes did her thesis in Trinity College Dublin 30 years ago, 'A Load of Rubbish: the economics of recycling'. There is a lot more awareness around the concept of slow fashion now than when Sphere One started out in 1999, but our philosophy has stayed the same.
A Sphere One piece of knitwear should be a luxurious keepsake, and given care at every point of it's journey, from maker to wearer, for the lifespan of the garment. Find how to best wash your cashmere sweater in our cashmere care guide.
When you invest in a Sphere One design you can feel confident that you are investing in the world’s finest cashmere expertly milled, spun, dyed and knitted strictly to requirements, mindful of sustainability.
- We are committed to making garments that use the most natural materials possible, while minimising our impact on the environment and we continue to learn, evolve and strive to be as sustainable as possible in our business practices.
- Working with bio-degradable, natural fibres like cashmere, silk, cotton, alpaca and wool, we are using the least harmful method of production to minimise synthetic textile landfill.
- Recent mass production of cashmere not only poses an environmental hazard of overgrazing, but the increasing practice of purposefully knitting loose cashmere to reduce costs (and increase profit) disrespects this noble fibre and results in garments that are short lived and wasteful. Sphere One only ever sources yarn from the world's leading yarn spinners such as Todd and Duncan in Scotland and Loro Piana in Italy.
- From these top sources, it is the length of fibre, the dyeing, the carding, the spinning and the twisting that gives that extra level of quality. In addition we follow the making process standard as laid down by Chanel in Scotland in the 1950s, a close held industry secret. While this makes the production more expensive, it ensures less pilling, better wearing, longevity in direct opposition to fast fashion, throwaway culture.
- As well as the finest quality virgin cashmere, we seek out innovative recycled cashmere to use in our collections. Our recycled Italian eco-cashmere yarns are certified to the Global Recycling Standard (GRS).
- We use Piuma Giza cotton in our collections, widely recognised as the finest on earth. Grown in the Nile valley in Egypt, Giza is longer, stronger, and softer than other cotton, of the highest quality and best longevity. Our cotton is OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, guaranteeing it is entirely free of harmful chemicals that could potentially be harmful to humans or our larger ecosystems. It is also STeP certified for sustainable textile production, which addresses environmentally friendly production processes in the long term, and improved health and safety and socially responsible working conditions at production sites.
- Passionate about zero waste, we only ever order enough natural yarn to make a collection, and never stockpile garments or yarns, constantly reusing, and recycling.
- With the tiny quantities of yarn leftover each season, we donate cashmere hats to donate to Irish charity ARC who provide free support, complementary therapies and counselling services in a warm and welcoming environment to people with cancer and those who care for them. Find out more here.
- We support fledgling Irish designers by donating any other leftover or sample yarn to NCAD, the National College of Art and Design in Dublin for student use in sampling and experimentation to further their design education!
Packaging and Freight
- Our collections of women's cashmere jumpers, cardigans, pants and accessories are designed in Ireland and hand made in Kathmandu, Nepal. We strive to combine shipments so as to minimise freight as much as possible, and our 'GoGreen' shipments to wholesale customers are certified carbon neutral by our carrier.
- Our consumer packaging is fully plastic free, recyclable or compostable. We ship our webstore orders in a beautiful Sphere One box that is recyclable or can be reused as storage. The box is dispatched in recycled paper with paper tape, entirely plastic free.
- For bulk wholesale orders to independent boutiques, each garment is protected in a clear 100% compostable bag, eliminating a huge source of plastic waste.
We undertake to further assess the environment impact of our business year by year. We will endeavour to reduce our carbon footprint by undergoing annual carbon audits to calculate our emissions, and we commit to a programme to plant native Irish woodland to offset our carbon emissions.